The U.S. Army is looking for a contractor to provide a cloud-native, enterprise-wide data management platform.

In a request for information (RFI), the Army said it “lacks an enterprise, cloud-native platform with integrated data standards, harmonized data governance and common services across the complete data lifecycle to support Army readiness, tactical and operational needs, and to enable advanced analytics, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) and data-driven decision-making across all mission areas.” Because it lacks such a data platform, the Army says it “extraordinarily difficult” to use its data as an “on-demand asset” across all data domains, including cyber, logistics, weapon systems, and intelligence.

To gain the competitive advantage the Army says it needs on the modern-day battlefield, it “must operationalize its data and invest in resilient information ecosystems designed to provide and protect critical information for the Joint Forces.”

The Army said in the RFI that its Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Enterprise Cloud Management Agency (ECMA) will manage the Enterprise Data Management Platform. The platform is intended to provide a common environment and tools to help data analysts source raw data, store and tag it, catalog datasets and attributes and condition and prepare data to enable advanced analytics, AI/ML, visualization, and data enhancements.

The platform also serves as the Army’s contribution to the broader Department of Defense (DoD) Data Strategy, and as a “hub of services enabling the Army Data Plan to converge the disparate data efforts across all mission areas.” The new platform will service data networks across a range of classification levels, including public, unclassified, secret, and coalition networks. It must also be integrated with the Army global cloud strategy and leverage cARMY common shared cloud services.

The ECMA will require an Enterprise Data Management Platform Provider to accomplish the following:

  • “Take over current data management assets that are delivering the Army Enterprise Data Services Catalog (EDSC) and Army Application Program Interface (API) Management services;
  • Expand services to incorporate a complete ecosystem of data lifecycle management services; and
  • Operate and continuously improve upon these services in order to reduce complexity, increase security, eliminate duplication of effort, and increase Army-wide adoption of AI/ML and data-driven decision-making.”

In the RFI, the Army provides two scenarios as examples of how it may use the Enterprise Data Platform. However, the Army notes that the two scenarios given are not all-encompassing of all potential usage situations. The two scenarios are:

  • “Enterprise Data Platform users and administrators source data from Army applications and authoritative data sources and store data in the Data Platform with cloud-native data life cycle management and governance capabilities
  • Enterprise Data Platform users analyze, visualize stored data and collaborate over a cloud-native data development environment for data discovery and sharing data insights within Army data analytics communities with right access control and audit traceability”

Responses are due by May 5, 2021.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.